Camping was a big part of my childhood. From spending a week on the road with my family, weekends with friends or several weeks with my Scout Troop a good deal of my time was spent in a tent or in front of a camp fire. But some of the best memories were the meals I enjoyed- especially breakfast. A tasty, hardy camp breakfast is the perfect way to start a day of adventure. But, cooking for groups of 10 or more hungry adventurers can be a challenge. Let us help you with some useful tips on how to supersize your camp breakfast.
1. Start with a preplanned menu.
Having a preplanned menu can help in several ways. First, it helps you prepare a shopping list ensuring that when you get to camp and start cooking your do not find yourself short a dozen eggs or looking for a neighbor to bum a carton of milk. Second, it helps keep you organized and allows for better planning. Have you ever seen a dozen hungry kids staring at you when pancakes are 2 hours late? Not a good moment. Third, it can also help you keep on budget.
2. Look for meals that can be cooked in big batches, using the fewest pots & pans possible.
Individual breakfast sandwiches or waffles from a cast iron mold sound delicious but are best saved for your alone time trips. When cooking for large groups select meals such as scrambles eggs & bacon or pancakes – with components that can be cooked all at one time in a single pot or on the griddle. You can individualize the meal by offering sides or toppings such as fresh veggies, sliced fruit or flavored syrup without adding a ton of extra time at the camp stove.
3. Fresh fruit can make a wonderful addition to any camp breakfast.
Fruit does not need to be reserved for toppings, it can also be a main course. Slices of watermelon, cantaloupe or oranges are not only easy to prepare in bulk but add valuable nutrition and can be prepared at the campsite or before leaving home. A large pan of eggs, a couple slices of bacon and fresh fruit slices is a meal fit for a king – or ten hungry campers- any day.
4. Serve family style or on a buffet.
Cut time by cutting out the individual. You are already cooking in bulk, so it is natural to serve that way as well, plus it can reduce time and clean up as well. Just remember that when people eat from a buffet they tend to take more than a single serving, especially when they encounter favorites. Make a few extra of everything just in case.
5. Prepare ahead of time when ever possible.
Do you want to start cracking eggs as the sun is rising or enjoy a few extra minutes in your sleeping bag? If the latter is your goal, try preparing as much of your menu before leaving home as possible. Scramble eggs and transport in a plastic container, cut fruits and store in a large Ziploc bag or mix pancake batter in the kitchen not the campsite. Not only will it give you a little extra shut eye, it is often easier to store and transport than raw ingredients.
For more tips on campsite cooking for your large group check out this YouTube video.